Venture Architects are responsible for defining the future of an organization by mapping it out, designing it and ensuring that its strategic goals are achieved. If you're interested in becoming a venture architect, this article will show you how to become one.
What is a venture architect?
A venture architect is a professional who helps startups and businesses create and execute their business plans. They work with clients to understand their goals, and then create a roadmap that will help them achieve those goals. Venture architects also provide guidance and support throughout the implementation process.
Becoming a venture architect requires a combination of skills and experience. Most professionals in this field have a background in business, engineering, or project management. They also have experience working with startups or small businesses. If you're interested in becoming a venture architect, it's important to develop your skillset and gain relevant experience.
A Brief history
Traditionally, R&D labs used to take up a central role in innovation, more specifically product innovation. The R&D lab was responsible for deep exploration of technology, followed by concept developing and if successful the company brought the new product into production and launched it in the market. This end-to-end process would typically take years, costs a lot of money and did not always deliver the expected results. Time for a change.
The past 2 decades we have seen start-ups create entire new businesses from scratch and shaking up traditional industries. Startups that went from idea to million dollar valuation in a fraction of the time it used to take to build a business. This stands in sharp contrast with the way innovation is done at traditional companies. Companies understood quickly they needed to catch up and build entire new structures that could help them react faster and become more agile.
Enter: venture building - the activity of building and developing entire new business models within existing businesses. Also known as Venture Builder, the Venture Architect is yet another role we expect to see popping up more in the corporate innovation landscape in the years to come. Let's look into what defines a venture builder and the main responsibilities this person holds.
How do you become a venture architect?
There is no one specific path to becoming a venture architect. However, there are a few key things that will help you on the way. Firstly, it is important to have a strong technical background and be able to understand complex systems. Secondly, you need to be able to think strategically and see the big picture. Finally, you must be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical people.
If you have these skills, then you may be well on your way to becoming a venture architect. However, it is also important to remember that this is a highly competitive field. So, don’t be discouraged if it takes some time to break into the industry.
One way to increase your chances of success is to gain experience in the field. This can be done by working as an intern or a junior architect at a startup studio, take up a leading role at a startup, join an innovation studio or venture building company (hey...that's us ;-) .
Alternatively, you could also start your own company and try to raise venture capital funding. These experiences will not only give you valuable insights into the industry, but they will also help you network with potential employers.
Roles and responsibilities
A Venture Architect is responsible for defining the field of opportunity and establishing the scope for a new venture. Main area of focus is to design and test the operational and commercial aspects of the business. In other words, it’s his role to translate the concept into the operational roadmap, define roles, responsibilities and activities. We can summarize the venture architect’s main responsibilities as following:
- Scan and create: Explore and test new business ideas and opportunities
- Design and execute: Define the operational and commercial structures and strategies
- Lead and communicate: Guide the development of the venture with the team and the corporate client
Alongside these lines, the daily tasks of a venture architect can include:
- Scan for novel business insights and turn them into attractive business concepts
- Examine the market size and build business cases for a potential venture
- Pitch innovative ventures to corporate boards
- Define and execute go-to-market strategies
- Draw and analyse customer journey maps
- Assemble and co-drive a corporate venture team
- Analyse customer segments and test hypotheses through rapid prototyping
This role is driven by a highly entrepreneurial mindset and knowledge of design thinking, lean startup, and agile development principles. The venture architect is also expected to possess good leadership and communication skills.
Previous experiences include high exposure to entrepreneurship such as startup, venture capital or startup accelerator roles. Experiences launching and managing large projects and businesses in corporate environments are also valued.
Skills and expertise of a venture architect
The role of a venture architect is to design and oversee the development of new business ventures within a company. This includes identifying opportunities, developing business plans, and managing the execution of the venture.
1. Corporate Strategy
To be successful in this role, one must have a strong ability to think strategically, identify and assess risks, and have experience in launching and growing new businesses. There is no one specific path to becoming a venture architect, but many people in this role have a background in management consulting or entrepreneurship.
2. Business Operations
A venture architect is responsible for the overall design and implementation of a company's business strategy. They work closely with senior management to ensure that all aspects of the business are aligned with the company's goals and objectives. Venture architects must have a deep understanding of business operations and be able to effectively communicate their ideas to others. They must also be able to work well under pressure and handle multiple projects simultaneously.
To become a venture architect, one must first have a strong foundation in business operations. This can be achieved through a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration or a related field. It is also important to have experience working in a variety of different businesses, as this will give you a better understanding of how different companies operate. Once you have the necessary skills and experience, you can then begin pursuing job opportunities with venture capital firms or other companies that specialize in business strategy and planning.
3. Entrepreneurial Finance
Venture architects must first have a strong understanding of entrepreneurial finance. This includes being able to identify and assess opportunities, create financial models, and raise capital.
Financial modelling is the process of constructing a financial model to represent a real-world financial situation. Financial models are used by businesses to make decisions about where to allocate resources and how to respond to various financial scenarios.
Additionally, venture architects need to have strong communication and presentation skills in order to pitch their ideas to potential investors.
Next to having a strong understanding of the startup ecosystem and how to navigate it venture architects must also be able to build relationships with other key stakeholders that have a capital stake in the company, such as entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate partners.
Becoming a venture architect requires strong analytical and mathematical skills, as well as experience in financial modelling. Naturally, people who have a degree in finance or studied accounting are a good fit when it comes to financial modelling.
The role of a venture architect is to design and oversee the construction of financial models. On a more strategic level, venture architects work with business owners and managers to understand their needs and objectives, and then develop financial models that will help them make informed decisions.
Being responsible for the design and implementation of new business ventures is diverse, challenging and is a very exciting role. The role of a Venture architect is both strategic and hands-on, requiring a combination of entrepreneurial skills and technical expertise. If you are interested in pursuing this career, then here are some tips on how to become one:
* Have a strong academic background in business or engineering. A masters or PhD degree will be highly regarded.
*Get significant experience in venture building; management consulting, investment banking or private equity. This will give you the necessary skills to identify opportunities and assess feasibility.
*Get a track record of success in launching and scaling new businesses. This could be through your own startups or through corporate venturing programs.
*Practice your communication and presentation skills. As a Venture architect, you will need to be able to persuasively sell your ideas to potential investors and partners.
Hope this was useful! If you're ready to take action, make sure to check out our masterclass on becoming a venture architect ;-)